A crotch cabaret at BISOUS

I can’t say I’ve ever seen a burlesque show before, but I definitely had something else in mind than last night’s performance(s) at BISOUS. 
Let’s first clarify that I wasn’t there to see the BISOUS girls at all, but a man called Russell Simmons, aka. the ‘godfather of hip hop’ and founder of Def Jam, who happened to be in town for Diamonds In The Sky, Hong Kong.
The event started out pretty cool with DJ Bravo spinning old skool hip hop tracks with videos projected onto the big screen, but before long, the curtains were drawn and out came the BISOUS gals.
Don’t get me wrong, the girls had great bodies, which is probably good enough for most, but something about the perfectly balanced girl group (1 brunette, 1 blonde, 1 black, 1 asian) just bothered me…
It started with some cheesy lip-synching, followed by an insane amount of crotch-flashing. What made it even more creepy was the overly ecstatic, plastered smiles on the girls’ heavily made up faces. And instead of being subtly seductive like I expected from burlesque dancers, the BISOUS gals strutted around the stage like horny peacocks, making shrill ‘YEOW!’ and ‘WOOPEE!’ sounds as they kicked their legs up behind their ears, did the cartwheels off one another and jumped up and landed in the splits (with a big THUD sound and collective “OUCH!!” from the audience).
During the totally cliche yet obligatory can-can dance, the girls lifted up and waved their frilly skirts around so much that I got tired of seeing all of them crotches, no matter which direction they kicked their legs out to make it look different each time. 
If you happened to miss out on the show, here are a few scenes from it that will forever be etched into my head (and now yours too, unfortunately):

Hope you enjoyed “the show”!!

Hong Kong Beggars: Central Bulging Eye Flute Playing Beggar

Our latest beggar is talented in more ways than one. Located in Central on Queen’s Road near exit D1 or D2, you can usually hear him from a block away since he plays traditional Chinese tunes on an old wooden flute.

As if that wasn’t difficult enough, he tends to be squatting the whole time, so I have no idea how his blood flows back up to his brain at all. Or maybe it doesn’t flow all that well, since one of his eyes is significantly bigger than the other and bulges out to the side.
I’ve never stopped for long enough to listen to an entire song of his, as I’m usually shuffling by with the lunch-hour or after-work stampede of office workers, but I’m thinking of giving him a little more attention the next time I’m nearby. 

Tips for secretaries: When to order water

I always thought being a secretary was pretty damn easy. All you have to do is answer the phone, order birthday cakes occasionally and watch YouTube (or YouKu) for the rest of the day.
I guess our secretary’s got it extra hard though because she also has to make sure we have enough drinking water in the office, which isn’t always the case. In fact, there’s already been two incidents when the water’s ran out, and wouldn’t be delivered for another few days.
Every time this happens, I’m quite annoyed since we already don’t have a pantry, fridge or tea lady to clean our mugs, but we should, at the very least, have a steady supply of water, right? Sure, I could go out and buy myself a bottle but that’s a) environmental UNfriendly and b) a waste of my hard earned money!
Since I understand that not everyone in this world has a working brain, I’ve created a series of what I hope are easy to understand pictures to help our dear secretary know when to order water:

If there are two full bottles of water in addition to the one in the machine, there is NO NEED to order water yet.
If there is one full bottle of water and still some water left in the machine, make a mental note that you MAY need to order water soon whilst keeping one eye on the water level in the existing bottle.

If you have two empty bottles and a full bottle in the machine, it’s TIME to place an order for water. Yes, it may seem that there’s a lot of water left, but it’s 35+ freakin’ degrees outside and you’ve got a lot of sweaty, thirsty and parched workers in the office. So place the order NOW already!!

If every water bottle including the one in the machine is empty, you’re TOO F@#KING LATE! Once again, you have amazed us with your stupidity and lack of brain cells!!

I hope this is clear and helps all the secretaries out there. For more information, check out my book “7 Habits of Highly Brainless Secretaries” coming out this fall.

A Giant Foot Massage

If you work in Central, you’ve probably come across the Giant Foot Man at some point. A life-sized foot mascot, he can usually be seen at the corner of Lyndhurst Terrace and Gage Street outside of Pizza Express handing out flyers for the foot massage place called ‘Refresh’, which is located just down the street.

You can’t deny it’s a great marketing tactic, and if being encased in a giant foot costume in 30+ degrees and 95% humidity wasn’t torturous and/or humiliating enough, their latest gimmick is a smaller version of a foot, this time to be worn on the person’s head only with a circular hole cutout for the face, so the poor person can’t even hide their identity! 
Anyway as I’ve always been a big fan of the Giant Foot Man (or whoever’s the poor person stuck inside), I decided to give it a try last Friday to see if it was any good. The place was pretty clean with a good selection of Eng/Chi magazines (+) and a never-ending soundtrack of wild bird shrieks (-), but when it came to the massage, it was pretty damn bad.
I got Lilian, a stone-faced, hefty Chinese woman in her 50s with thick fish lips, ruler-cut bangs and a constant deadpan expression on her face. During the first 10 mins of the massage which was on the neck and shoulders, she pinched, poked and tugged at my skin without any rhythm at all, then plucked at the tendons in my neck as if she had mistaken it for some kind of stringed instrument (a banjo, I think). 
When it came to the foot massage, she was rough as hell, claiming that I had a bad stomach, eyeballs, earlobes, whatever, which justified the intense pressure that she was delivering the massage with. Despite my ‘Yeowws!!!’ she continued to press harder, so I tried my best to focus on reading my magazine instead. The creepy thing was, whenever I glanced up from my magazine at her, I found her staring back at me with glassy eyes, and in the dim lighting of the room, she looked extremely zombie like…
Traditional thinking is that the more painful the massage, the more benefits you’re supposed to get, but the next day, all I got were a bunch of small, finger-sized bruises all over my shins. Let’s just say, I won’t be going back!

I’m a cavity; come and get me

There are some things you’re just supposed to know, like: never touch a hot stove, date a guy who lives at home and wear high heels to go hiking. Another thing to add to this list, which I’m guessing most other people know already, is: never move into an apartment that’s under construction.
I have no idea why this never occurred to me before, but as I sit here in my godforsaken apartment listening to the sound of 3-4 industrial drills hammering away at all four walls around me, I finally understand now what it feels like to be a cavity.

The entire building is going through a renovation right now starting with the exterior, followed by the entire lobby, and of course, the landlord and agent conveniently showed us the place in the evenings when the dirty and dusty construction workers were nowhere to be seen. 
After moving in, we discovered that the drilling is daily and usually starts at 8/9am on weekends, the lifts are often crammed with smelly garbage bags and various other crap, and the sky literally rains concrete clumps that hits our windows on the way down. Because of that, all our windows have been covered by a thick and opaque piece of white plastic, which means we can’t even look out to check the weather for the next couple of months.
The expected completion date of the renovation is supposed to be July 23rd, but that’s just for the exterior. After that, they’ll get cracking on renovating the entire lobby downstairs, fml. AND, if that wasn’t enough, the cherry on top of all this is: there is now a band of miniature flying cockroaches mating outside of our apartment door as we speak (which turns out to be quite a good story in itself…stay tuned!).

A face only a mother could love

Sometimes, you come across people so beautiful you can’t help yourself from staring. Other times, you come across people so ugly…you just wanna punch them out.

WHAT? Yea, I said it. Some people are so ugly, they just trigger the whack-a-mole reaction in me, whereby I gasp in horror every time they pop up and all I wanna do is clobber it back into its sad little hole with my giant stuffed hammer.

I believe there’s a term for this in Cantonese called ‘yeung seui’, which literally means ‘ugly in appearance’. I’ve tried to translate it into English before but never quite managed, since ‘fugly’, ‘repulsive’ or ‘disgusting’ just doesn’t warrant a physical beating like ‘yeung seui’ does. Or is it just me who defines ‘yeung seui’ as ‘so damn ugly you just wanna punch him/her out’?

As an example, I came across a very ‘yeung seui’ guy in the MTR the other day. He was sitting across me looking like a zombie with his lower jaw jutted out and mouth hanging open to catch any flies passing by, I presume. His eyes were rolled into the back of his head, yet he still managed to stare at everyone around him for uncomfortably long periods of time, all the while giving a ‘I want to eat your brains’ look to us all.

Like a train wreck, I tried to look away but found my eyes drifting back to him magnetically against my will, getting more and more annoyed with the way he looked, and why did he have to keep staring at me?! Even though it was days ago, the image of him was emblazoned into my head, so I just had to draw him out:

…now isn’t that a face you just wanna punch out!? 

MISSING!! Favourite concierges gone by…


It’s that time of year again – Chinese New Year – and you know what that means… It’s time to put on that tacky Chinese outfit you would never be seen in public with every other day of the year, time to drop our jaws for 20 minutes straight going ‘wahhhh’ for the same ol’ fireworks in Victoria Harbour and of course, time to shirk around all those building reception and security guards that we don’t really know or like enough to give them a red pocket (lai see).

I know it’s proper etiquette to give all of them a lil somethin’ somethin’ for the hard work they’ve been doing for the past year, but I just don’t believe in obligatory giving, especially when it’s to the masses and to pseudo-strangers at that. In fact, I’m proud to say that I am a strong supporter of special treatment, both giving and getting (aren’t we all?).

Anyway, now that the red pockets have been sneakily distributed to (only) those we’ve deemed ‘favorites’, I can’t help but reminisce at some of our favorite building concierges gone by…*sniff sniff*

Eggie

Eggie aka. Elgar/Egwart/Egwar (?) was the first reception guy in our building when we first moved to Hong Kong. A skinny, soft-spoken and dare I say nerdy guy, he could often be seen chatting on the phone with his ‘girlfriend’ (unconfirmed) during his regular graveyard shifts, unless he was asked for help, that is. No matter whether we asked him where we could order takeout, how to stream Premier League games or how to change our locks, he would always conduct intensive research before answering us, in the form of a 3 page handwritten note slipped discreetly into our mailbox the next morning. Sigh…he was so sweet!

Mickey

Mickey was a beautiful and sweet Hong Kong girl who always made me wonder what the hell she was doing as a reception girl in our building. To me, she could definitely enter and win any beauty pageant with her big (contact lens-enhanced) black eyes, porcelain skin and sweet as sugar giggles. One day, she even referred to our neighborhood as a ‘garbage land’ (translation: dump), so I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when she silently disappeared one day…

Mongkok Guy

My personal favorite, Mongkok Guy was aptly named for his partly-shaved emo haircut and rough-looking features. A man in his mid-30s, one of his eyes was a little bit smaller than the other, which I assumed was a battle scar from a fight he’d survived versus other triad members in his past (or current?) life. Always friendly and helpful, we felt particularly hurt when he disappeared without telling us, especially when we had gone out on a limb by outwardly telling him he was “our favorite” guy! ::burn::

Unfortunately, all three of them disappeared without any notice at all, so I have no idea where they are now. I hope Eggie found a better job where he can actually spend the evenings with his said-girlfriend, and I have a feeling that Mickey and Mongkok Guy may have run off together (they seemed quite close and always worked the same shifts for some reason) but who knows?

If anyone out there has seen them, please let them know that they are sorely missed… and that their red pockets are here waiting for them! 😥

BOO to BO Innovation

Thanks to my new job, I had the (dis)pleasure of dining at BO Innovation recently, and even though it is now weeks ago, the experience is definitely one that hasn’t faded away quickly. Foodies in Hong Kong have surely heard of BO but for those who haven’t, BO is hailed by many to be one of the best restaurants in the world due to owner and “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung’s wildly creative and experimental style of cooking. And experimental it was.

The meal began with Pat Chun, a combination of mousse-like cream, pomelo, pineapple, tomato and vinegar, which I managed to swallow like I would take medicine (quick and without tasting it). 

Next was the Molecular Xiao Long Bao, which was a little jelly sphere filled with pork broth meant to pop in your mouth, giving you all the flavors of a xiao long bao without you having to chew or bite anything. But what is this – made for people without teeth? The little sphere did in fact pop like a ripe pimple inside my mouth, and while the juices spilled out I once again had to swallow it quickly to just get rid of it.

At this point, I knew that this super high-end molecular meal was definitely not for me, but I had no choice but to stay as it was a full-on media lunch. So, a few (somewhat) normal dishes later, we were served the Nitro dish, which was essentially a big lump of ginger tea ‘cooked’ in liquid nitrogen. While I watched the waiter tossing the lumps in a steaming bowl of chemicals, I really wanted to skip this course but again, peer pressure prevailed and I was given a huge shit-shaped lump to put into my mouth.

The experience was like sticking my tongue on a frozen chair-lift, except it was totally inverted and instead of only my tongue being stuck to ice, it was my entire mouth. While all eyes were on me, spitting it out was not an option and by the time I managed to break it down and swallow it my mouth felt all scratched up.

Finally, it was time for dessert and I still had a glimmer of hope that it’d be good, seeing that it had almond as a main ingredient. Instead, we were given the Sandalwood, which was a pot of tofu-like substance with hawthorn and actual smoke that smelled like incense from a Chinese temple. We were told to inhale the smoke first, and then dig into the contents of the pot, but after smelling the burnt incense smell, it felt like I was eating incense ash ice cream.

Unfortunately, Alvin Leung himself was sitting next to me at this point so I managed to get a few (small) spoonfuls in, but I quickly covered up my pot to avoid having any more of the disgusting dessert.

Overall, I can appreciate Alvin’s creativity given that there’s definitely not enough of it in Hong Kong, but the entire dining experience felt more like a lab experiment to me than anything else. It reminded me of when I was a kid and used to mix all the leftovers from the dimsum table together for fun, like fish eyeballs, chicken feet bones, pork fat, pepper and a slosh of jasmine tea. The difference is, I never forced anyone to eat it…

Of course, there are many people out there who absolutely adore BO Innovation, for whatever reasons I as a simpletongue won’t understand. For another perspective, check out the review by Luxeat (who took all the pictures above).

Drug overdose!

I don’t get sick often, but when I do, I try to avoid seeing the doctor as much as possible, especially in Hong Kong. Why is this?

First of all, it’s a hassle to expense the bill (yea, I’m that lazy). Second, I still don’t have a doctor to call my own, so it’s always some random wo/man. And third, I have a feeling the doctors here don’t really care about their patients, nor do they really know (or want to know) what the problem is.

What happens then is after your brief consultation, the doctor prescribes a truckload of medications for you to take, each one apparently canceling out the others’ effect. For instance, if you have a rash, you’d probably get:

  • 1 small tub of cream
  • 6 antihistamines for the itchiness
  • 8 slow-release painkillers
  • 16 stomach neutralizers so the painkillers don’t give you stomach ulcers
  • 24 antibiotic pills to kill the germs
  • 9 pills to lift your mood (cuz having a rash probably made you clinically depressed)
  • and maybe even a few panadols in case you suddenly develop some sort of fever. 

It’s like the doctor’s saying, “I don’t REALLY know what you’ve got, but here’s a bit of everything so we hit all birds with (way more than) one stone.” I mean, I’ve never lived in a place where the doctors give you so many pills to take! Back in Holland, going to the doctor was completely useless, since s/he’d just tell you to go home and rest, leaving you weak, empty-handed and helpless to develop whatever you had into its full-blown state (hello, bronchitis!). In Hong Kong though, they do the complete opposite and over-medicate.

I heard though that it’s not just the doctors’ fault. Since patients need to pay a fee each time they see the doctor (around HK$200), they expect to get their money’s worth (read: medicine). So, regardless of whether they have the right pills or not for their symptoms, they take their pills obediently. For me though, the occasional visit to the doctor is not a way to get meds, it’s a way to get peace of mind. As long as I know I’m not dying from some life-threatening disease, I usually take those pills (you get them automatically from the doctor’s office) and throw them out once I get home.

Anyone with me, or do you usually take all the pills your doctor gives you?